India’s Madhya Pradesh auctions nation’s lowest-priced solar

The NTPC's involvement in the Bhadla Solar Park is a boon for PV development in Rajasthan.

An auction in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh has today set a new record low for solar power in the country.

The Rewa ultra-mega solar park, a 750 MW joint venture between Solar Energy Corp of India (SECI) and Madhya Pradesh Urja Vikas Ltd., has attracted bids of INR 3.59/kWh ($0.053/kWh) – the lowest ever recorded in India.

Bidding rules outlined by the developers deemed that the lowest tariff accepted would serve as a base price for the reverse auction. The developers that submitted the highest proposed tariff would be excluded from the e-auction. This unique set of rules has helped to drive the cost below the previous Indian record-low of INR 4.34/kWh, set last year in Rajasthan.

The Rewa solar capacity is being doled out in three, 250 MW units – the first of which is set at a price of INR 3.59/kWh, rising to INR 3.61/kWh for the second unit, and INR 3.26/kWh for the third.

There were 20 developer proposals submitted in the e-auction, and this number was whittled down to 18 following the exclusion of Shapporji Pallonji and Torrent Power – both of who offered the two highest prices.

“The auction will begin at the country’s lowest solar power rate and it is likely to go further down,” said India’s principal secretary of new and renewable energy, Manu Shrivastav. The completed Rewa solar park will not only be India’s cheapest such installation, but its largest too, usurping Tamil Nadu’s 648 MW solar farm.

A portion of the energy produced onsite at the 750 MW, 1,500 hectare plot will be purchased by Delhi Metro Rail, with Madhya Pradesh utilities committed to buying the rest of the power produced.